Interest in Red Lion from all corners of globe

The Red Lion pub in Bloxham
The Red Lion pub in Bloxham

Financial support from four continents has flooded in to help Bloxham buy its own community pub.

More than £100,000 has been pledged towards a £500,000 target to buy the now-derelict Red Lion. Donations have come from the United States, Canada, Australia, all over Europe and even Shanghai.

A public meeting is to be held on Sunday in Jubilee Hall, Bloxham at 5pm when the committee at the heart of the scheme will listen to villagers hopes and views on the project in a bid to assess whether it has a viable future.

Committee chairman Colin Challenger said: “A lot of people have picked up on the issue, including CAMRA, Pub-in-the-Hub and our MP Sir Tony Baldry. We now have sponsors not only in Bloxham and Banbury but in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe and Shanghai.

“The building itself is looking most down at heel. Bloxham Community Committee has been trying to arrange an appointment with Fullers (the brewery) for some considerable time to survey the building and assess its kitchens and facilities so a proper decision about a fair offer price can be reached.”

Questionnaires and a social media campaign show 98 per cent of respondents are in favour of renovating the Red Lion as a community hub with pub, restaurant, gardens and meeting rooms.

Bloxham Parish Council has applied to Cherwell District Council to designate the pub as a community asset, which would give the committee a breathing space of six months in which to raise the necessary funds before the property could go on the open market.

A single £250 share will give its holder a vote towards the policies adopted and management of the pub, which it is thought may feature a bakery and coffee and tea shop.